Lily practically skipped out of the common room and down the corridor. She couldn’t explain the sense of euphoria she felt at being back at Hogwarts. All her classes were more interesting, her roommates were less troublesome, and her spirits were higher than a kite. The smile on her face seemed content to stay there forever and would not give way to any other expression even for a moment.
She laid her hand over her pendant, its warmth radiating through her skin. She couldn’t wait to thank Sharpe for the gift that had made her so inexplicably happy. It wasn’t until after lunch that she saw him in the hall outside the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom talking to a group of boys.
“Sharpe!” He turned at the sound of her voice, and she registered briefly the lack of flutters in her stomach wondering at it.
“Hey Sharpe, we’ll catch you up later,” one of the boys said.
“Okay, see you later.” The boys walked off down the hall. “Hey, Lils, what can I do for you?”
She shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
“I just wanted to thank you for the gift.” She held up the opal and noticed Sharpe’s look of confusion.
“Who told you I…”
“Oh, Scorpius did, but I had figured it out before that. I mean the point on the tail…” She turned the pendant over so he could see the glittering scorpion on the back.
“And Scorpius…told you…that I bought that?”
“Oh, don’t be mad at him. He didn’t really tell. He just confirmed my suspicions.”
“But anyway, thanks, it’s lovely.”
“Uh…yeah.” She turned away and hurried off down the hall, leaving Sharpe looking stricken.
In potions class Rebecca kept mimicking a broom crashing with her hand and laughing, but Lily hardly noticed. Her Forgetfulness Potion turned out perfectly according to Professor Vonce. She picked up her bag and headed to her next class wondering for the first time that day why she hadn’t seen Scor.
She dropped her bag on a table in the back of the library where she planned to look up the effects of a potion Professor Vonce had told them to write an essay on. She took out her mirror and whispered, “Scor.” She had to wait several minutes before his grey eyes appeared in the mirror.
“Where have you been? I haven’t seen you all day?”
“Sorry…classes are keeping me busy.”
“Are you okay? You look sick.”
“Why don’t you come to the library and we can study together before dinner.”
“Um…I’m sorry…I can’t…Matilda and I are going to study.”
“Oh.” Lily tried to cover her disappointment. “Okay, I’ll see you at dinner then.”
“Okay.” The mirror darkened. Why did he seem so sad?
She took her usual place next to Scor at the Slytherin table. The same empty grey look she had seen in the mirror paled his features now as well.
“Scor, what’s wrong?” He stared at a spot somewhere across the room. She hated seeing him so miserable. The boy that had done so much to cheer her up before Christmas looked as though his best friend had died. Her heart ached for him.
“Nothing,” he said. She looked down at his plate. He hadn’t put any food on it, but he pushed his fork around as though there were something to push. She dipped him some mashed potatoes, peas, and roast only to be rewarded with a sad little smile.
Sharpe glared at him from across the table. They must have had a row. She wished she hadn’t said anything to Sharpe about the necklace now. Scor was upset and it was all her fault for opening her mouth. Why did Sharpe have to be angry at Scor? He didn’t do anything wrong! She rubbed circles on Scor’s back in what she hoped was the same soothing manner her mother used on her and leaned her head on his shoulder.
“Please don’t be upset,” she whispered so that Sharpe couldn’t hear. He moved to stand up and she had to right herself quickly.
“I’m going to bed. I…I’m not hungry,” and with that he walked out of the Great Hall leaving Lily feeling both confused and concerned.
She glared across the table at Sharpe. She took several rolls and wrapped them in a napkin then walked off to find her friend. He wasn’t in the common room so she knocked on the door to his dorm.
“Scor?” She tried turning the handle but it was locked. “Scor, it’s me Lily. I brought you some rolls. Please come out.”
After several minutes she decided he must have gone somewhere else. She took out her mirror and called his name several times, but the mirror remained dark. She finally admitted defeat when the other Slytherins started coming back from dinner. She went to her room and sat on her four-poster wondering what she could do to cheer her friend up.
As she lay on her bed listening to her roommates chatter, she thought of James’s invisibility cloak lying in the bottom of her trunk. She had never given it back after she had borrowed it to sneak out to see Tom. Perhaps I should sneak over and visit Scor tonight, and she remembered something else in her trunk that was sure to cheer him up.